Lorival Luz has begun is tenure as global chief executive officer (CEO) of Brazil-based meat and poultry company BRF.

The BRF board of directors in March unanimously approved the promotion of Luz, who previously served the company as its global chief operating officer (COO), to take effect on June 17.

He succeeds Pedro Parente, who is stepping down from the CEO position, which he has held since 2018. Parente will remain the chairman of the BRF board.

“The mission of representing and leading BRF as CEO is a responsibility I will assume with great pride and humility. Together with our over 90,000 employees, I will work to solidify the company’s legacy of almost 85 years and to resume the path of growth and profitability outlined in the current strategic planning, while always prioritizing our firm commitments to quality, safety and integrity,” Luz said in a press release.

Luz launched his career at Citibank, where he worked for around 17 years, with experience also at Estácio Participações Votorantim Industrial, CPFL Energia and Votorantim Cimentos. He joined BRF in September 2017, as chief financial and investor relations officer. He has served as global COO since June 2018, a position that will cease to exist with his promotion.

“I met Lorival as soon as I became chairman of the board. His commitments to BRF, to the turnaround strategy and to rebuilding a company guided by excellence are virtues that have earned him my constant admiration. As I pass him the baton of CEO, I am certain that we will remain firmly on the path of positive and sustainable results,” said Parente, who will continue to closely accompany the company’s management. 

BRF, according to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, is the third largest poultry producer in the world. However, the company recently divested of its operations in Argentina, Europe and Thailand in an effort to improve its financial position.

In late May, BRF announced it is considering a merger agreement with another Brazil-based company, Marfrig Global Foods.